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Ethanol Production Takes Major Hit

AFBF Chief Economist John Newton says the ethanol industry is continuing to feel the impact of COVID-19

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The ethanol industry is continuing to feel the impact of COVID-19 as the pandemic enters a second year of global disruption.

American Farm Bureau Federation chief economist John Newton, speaking Thursday at the virtual 57th annual Crop Insurance and Reinsurance Bureau Annual meeting, said ethanol production has taken a major hit in the last year. “From the beginning of 2020 through the last few weeks, we’re now two billion gallons less of ethanol production compared to prior year levels,” said Newton. “As of last week we probably still had 10 or 12 ethanol facilities around the country that are idle.”

Asked if the push for green energy under the Biden Administration might help ethanol, Newton said there will be challenges competing with electric vehicles.

“We’re not going to go to electric vehicles overnight, so there’s a role for ethanol and biofuels to play there,” said Newton. “But, certainly on the long horizon I do see some challenges on the biofuels front.”

Listen to Newton's comments at AGWired.

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